Boeing hit with a lawsuit over alleged “theft” of SLS rocket tools

SLS rocket on the launch pad.

Enlarge / The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft are seen before the Artemis I launch. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

A Colorado-based company, Wilson Aerospace, is suing Boeing for what it claims to be “theft” of its intellectual property. At issue is a specific tool, known as a Fluid Fitting Torque Device-3, that Wilson developed, and Boeing said it needed to attach four main engines to the Space Launch System rocket.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in US District Court in Seattle, where Boeing was originally based. The lawsuit alleges that Boeing reached out to Wilson in March 2014 after learning that the company had created the special torque device, which can precisely install high-torque fittings and nuts in tightly confined spaces.

The engine section at the bottom of the Space Launch System rocket, where four RS-25 engines are mated to the large core stage with its propellant and oxidizer tanks, is one such tight space. Boeing is the prime contractor for the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket, which launched NASA’s uncrewed Artemis I mission around the Moon in November 2022.

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Live Event Augmentation Tool MXR Hits The XR Market

New XR visualization tool, MXR (Mixer), has been developed to compete in crafting the future of live event and fan experiences.

Marketed as “a new tool for a new generation of concert visuals” by its boutique studio, &Pull, MXR has been in development for two years and is now available for private beta access. 

Tested through an impressive slate of recent case studies with the likes of Coachella, including broadcasted augmented reality (AR) visuals for performances by Childish Gambino, Bad Bunny, Gorillaz, and BLACKPINK, MXR is a scalable creator tool that can tailor audio-visual experiences with native 3D rendering for 2D displays, as well as immersing fans through live engagement with XR devices and applications.

In an effort to future-proof content creation for performance visuals, MXR developer and &Pull’s founder, Eric Wagliardo, sees the program “as a new VJ tool” that allows for both traditional and more evolved XR imagery and interaction.

“There is this dream that so many of us [in the industry] share of innovating the concert experience where XR devices will be ubiquitous,” Wagliardo said. “We’re in a burgeoning moment where music visualization should be reimagined in this rebirth [of performances].”

“A lot of what we see with XR and virtual worlds right now are the incremental baby steps to facilitate a world in which wearables are commonplace. In order for us to get there, we need to build infrastructure and tools.”

Credit: &Pull

Wagliardo sees tools like MXR not as a gimmick, but as an opportunity for festivals, labels, and musicians to build new business pipelines and partnerships into tech, fandom, and visual artistry. 

“When working with Coachella, we believe that Broadcast AR is an important part of the future of music performance as more and more music events are being streamed online to scale their audience,” added Sam Schoonover, founder at Forward Studio + innovation lead for Coachella,” during an interview with VRScout.

“The issue is that these productions are so often cost prohibitive. The type of tooling that MXR is building should help alleviate those costs for musicians helping to scale more interesting and engagement entertainment experiences across the industry.”

With quick capabilities of generating a lot of content programmatically for complete customization and live manipulation, MXR is positioned to bridge a gap in seemingly seamless performance elevation.

Feature Image Credit: &Pull

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AI system devises first optimizations to sorting code in over a decade

Image of computer code on a screen.

Enlarge (credit: Anas Photography)

Anyone who has taken a basic computer science class has undoubtedly spent time devising a sorting algorithm—code that will take an unordered list of items and put them in ascending or descending order. It’s an interesting challenge because there are so many ways of doing it and because people have spent a lot of time figuring out how to do this sorting as efficiently as possible.

Sorting is so basic that algorithms are built into most standard libraries for programming languages. And, in the case of the C++ library used with the LLVM compiler, the code hasn’t been touched in over a decade.

But Google’s DeepMind AI group has now developed a reinforcement learning tool that can develop extremely optimized algorithms without first being trained on human code examples. The trick was to set it up to treat programming as a game.

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Robocalls claiming voters would get “mandatory vaccines” result in $5M fine

A sign with the word

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | adamkaz)

The Federal Communications Commission issued a $5.1 million fine against pro-Trump robocallers who targeted Black people with calls promoting a conspiracy theory that the government would use mail-in voting records “to track people for mandatory vaccines.” The calls also falsely claimed that mail-in voting would be used by police to “track down old warrants” and by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts.

The FCC voted 4–0 to issue the fine against John Burkman (aka Jack Burkman), Jacob Wohl, and J.M. Burkman & Associates LLC for making illegal robocalls to wireless phones, the commission announced yesterday. Burkman and Wohl have faced multiple lawsuits and pleaded guilty in one criminal case. If they do not pay the $5,134,500 penalty, the FCC will refer it to the Department of Justice for collection.

The FCC fine is for 1,141 calls made to wireless numbers without the recipients’ express prior consent. But the robocalls were sent to over 85,000 people overall, according to a ruling in a court case described later in this article.

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AR Technology Is Invading The Kitchen

Could this immersive AR experience revolutionize the culinary arts?

Earlier this month, the popular culinary livestreaming network Kittch announced that it is partnering with American technology company Qualcomm to create hands-free cooking experiences accessible via AR glasses.

Developed in collaboration with technical design company Trigger, the platform will offer users a variety of useful features while in the kitchen. This includes the ability to set timers, order specific ingredients, and follow interactive videos and recipes without ever having to touch your phone with your dirty little fingers. This is possible thanks to the use of gesture and eye-tracking technology.

Credit: Kittch

“In pursuit of our vision at Kittch to help consumers rediscover the joy and creativity they can experience in the kitchen, we are thrilled to partner with Qualcomm to unveil the future of cooking at AWE,” said Brian Bedol, CEO and co-founder of Kittch, in an official release.

“Our mission at Kittch is to transform the cooking experience, and through this collaboration, we are able to deliver a seamless and immersive environment for home cooks. By harnessing the power of augmented reality and Qualcomm’s cutting-edge solutions, we are turning cooking from a frustrating chore into a delightful and joyful experience.”

Credit: Kittch

“At Kittch, we are at the forefront of culinary innovation, and our collaboration with Qualcomm marks a significant milestone in our mission to redefine cooking experiences,” added Kalpana Berman, chief product officer of Kittch.

“By using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces to seamlessly build and integrate AR experiences, we are empowering home cooks with a groundbreaking culinary toolset. Our aim is to provide users with an unparalleled level of interactivity and convenience throughout their culinary journey – from planning what to make to cooking in the kitchen.”

Credit: Kittch

According to Kittch, accessing educational content in AR is easy. All you have to do is select AR Mode and you can begin following American restauranteur Ming Tsai’s instructions in AR. For more information visit here.

Feature Image Credit: VRScout via Midjourney

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